The future of work still would need applicants, but relying on creative positions

It is no news that workforce’s facing a vertiginous transformation due to technological achievements, changing all the rules in a brief period of time. In the case of the creative industry this will include a wide range of peculiarities but I’m just focusing on one aspect: skills.

In the age of millions and millions of sources of information the capacity to focus is invaluable, including mobile related jobs that are growing on demand exponentially. Still there’s 3 ways to approach the most demanded credentials for hiring today:

  1. Ask for the specialist who can take care of an specific subject.
  2. Ask for the multitasked who can take care of different problems.
  3. Ask for the specialist but to offer a particular vision to a complex task not necessarily related with his/her expertise.

To be honest, the last option is almost unrealistic. Who really want to work in something out of their known capacity? and Who really want to hire somebody not related with their business? though, probably that’s the right approach for future jobs, at least for the creative industry. The innovation almost always come from a perspective out of the box, a divergent opinion, the point of view of a specialist not related to the task. To boost creation, constraints will be not only metaphysical but also economic, structural, systemic.

Once the industrial and serialized waste has saturated our environment, craftsmanship is now living a second golden age. But what craft has to offer will not suffice the demand of some of the services we’re getting used to enjoy.

I visualize better the market’s dilemma with music industry as analogy. In the early days of music industry, artists success was measured by their ability to sell a certain single record in heavy rotation on the radio, however the technology gradually was able to offer the cheaper formula of recording long plays. Following that logic, record labels induced consumers and artist to produce albums, not singles. Stylistic freedom apart, artists embraced the model that evolved for decades giving them option of recording conceptual albums, compilation albums but also, on the side of the multinational, the possibility of creating a musical product.

Big record companies made a bold investment in radio formulas, new talents and one-hit wonders selling million of copies. Everything changes when audio coding format gets ubiquitous, with the growing expansion of the sharing culture many record deals turn into unfeasible projects and some fabricated artist get lost into nowhere land while others survive getting “into the road” again. Along with the streaming business, the single format came back as an adequate and profitable alternative for the digital audio industry. Back into the material world as it happens to craftsmanship: vintage vinyl, limited editions albums, or even obscure independent label cassettes and CDRs now have a market.

In a similar way venture capital and business angels are looking for ideas, startups, fresh talent to invest, and everyone is making a bet for the new hit, the new road to business stardom. All of the above needs the voice of a professional in the field of visual communication, usability, or the wiser alternative: adopt design thinking in the business model.

Following the previous music industry analogy: What about the crooner? the experimental band? the session Dj or the stand up comedian not signed into a multinational? in that precarious environment they might have found their niche market, a close relationship with their audience and customers, and that’s always where the novel ideas come from.

If designers are like artists or artist managers we have to take a stand in this wobbling scenario, in the other hand, probably that choice has already been made by the same market that will not longer rely on the workforce but the creativeforce, and for designers that’s good news.